April 22nd is Earth Day, and this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth”, which emphasizes the importance of employing nature-based solutions, green technology, and innovative new strategies to help to restore the world’s biodiversity and ecosystem. Rather than focus on climate adaptation and responding to global warming, this Earth Day is emphasizing the importance of solutions to reverse climate change. This means thinking of shifting our attention to approaches that will help the planet restore, regenerate and ultimately be more in harmony with Nature.
One way in which we can restore the balance in nature is by restoring soil health. According to experts, soil health is diminishing at ten times the rate that it is being replenished in America due to industrial agriculture. Additionally, various experts estimate there might not be more than 60 harvests left if a shift in agricultural practices doesn’t take place.
Many farmers are turning to regenerative agriculture and agroecology, which prioritize soil health and biodiversity through methods such as no till farming, cover crop, and refraining from the use of chemicals, fertilizers, or additives to restore depleted soil. As one Natural Agriculture farmer has said, “it is like seeing the soil turn from sand into chocolate cake”.
The philosophy of Shumei Natural Agriculture teaches that Nature is inherently perfect, and has all the knowledge within it to restore, renew and regenerate life. The role of humans, therefore, is to facilitate this, as opposed to trying to control it. A way for human beings to start to help this process is by supporting farmers, who are providing ecosystems services and helping to restore the soil, increasing their carbon capacity, protecting the ground water, and the biodiversity in the surrounding area. By making commitments to consume food products that are free from chemical additives and grown through regenerative agriculture, we not only support the health of our bodies, but also our local farmers, the soil, and the planet.